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Will Jerusalem Jump on the Cable Car Bandwagon?

Shocker: This plan comes with a healthy dose of controversy.
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Reuters/Baz Ratner

How do you make the most controversial city in the world just a little more contentious? Add cable cars, of course. Haaretz reports today that Jerusalem authorities are close to finally unveiling their plan for an ambitious cable car project that could transport 6,000 people an hour across the Old City. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat first announced the cable car plan in the spring of 2013, but the city has just hired a contractor to complete a feasibility study.

The $31 million project has an important target audience: The growing hordes of tourists who are flocking to the holy city in record numbers. Israel drew nearly 3 million tourists in 2013, 75 percent of whom visited Jerusalem. Tourism added an estimated $11.5 billion to Israel’s economy that year. So it’s no wonder that Barkat has cited tourists while jumping on the cable car bandwagon: “Beyond being a transportation solution, a cable car will be an innovative and unique tourist attraction and offer breathtaking views of the city,” he said in 2013.